06/11/2008 11:00PM

Local filly too sharp to ignore


Graded-stakes regulars Steve Asmussen, Kiaran McLaughlin, and Rick Violette each have a horse for the Jostle Stakes on Saturday at Philadelphia Park. Four of the six 3-year-old fillies in the race have shipped in from more major venues in New York and New Jersey. But the horse to beat in the Jostle, worth a whopping $200,000, is based right at Philadelphia Park with local trainer Richard Vega.

That would be Dulce Realidad, who has never raced anywhere but Philly Park, and at some point might start to get the respect at the betting windows that she has earned out on the racetrack. Dulce Realidad went off at 4-1 when she won her career debut at Philadelphia by almost six lengths in January; she was almost 5-2 and not the favorite when she won an entry-level allowance race by almost six lengths on April 27; and in the $75,000 Trevose Stakes on May 13, she cruised by four lengths - at odds of almost 6-1.

Dulce Realidad suffered her only loss when she finished second April 6 in a 6 1/2-furlong entry-level allowance race, and given all the speed she had shown at six furlongs, one might have guessed distance could be an issue. But the recent stakes romp came at the 6 1/2-furlong distance of the Jostle, and Dulce Realidad probably will not get beat on the trip Saturday.

Dulce Realidad breaks from the rail in the Jostle, and may face outside pace pressure from any number of horses. Reata's Quik Punch has some early lick, as does Phantom Income, and, to a lesser extent, A Rose for You and Throbbin' Heart.

Throbbin' Heart, a two-time stakes winner from the Asmussen barn, comes off a second-place finish in the Pearl City at Belmont, but has more serious distance issues than Dulce Realidad. Phantom Income was trounced by Dulce Realidad last out, but has potential, and the McLaughlin-trained A Rose for You, who makes her stakes debut, could finish well turning back from one-mile races.

Alphabet Soup: Dark Cheetah the choice

Eleven horses were entered in the $75,000 Alphabet Soup, a Pennsylvania-bred turf race that immediately precedes the Jostle.

Carded at 1 1/16 miles, the Alphabet Soup probably will have Dark Cheetah as a favorite. Based in New York with trainer Rick Dutrow, Dark Cheetah just finished a close second in the Red Wing Dream Stakes at Belmont, and should be well-supported in the Alphabet Soup despite his lack of experience at the race's distance.